Embattled DOE-Grant Recipient Changes Name from A123 to B456


After bankruptcy, a buyout by a Chinese firm, and more than a hundred million dollars in taxpayer money, the lithium-ion battery maker A123 Systems, Inc., is getting a new name: B456 Systems, Inc.

A123, which produces batteries used in electric cars, has changed its name to B456, the company announced Thursday in a regulatory filing.

The company filed for bankruptcy in October of last year and was later purchased by Chinese firm Wanxiang.

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The Department of Energy awarded A123 a $249 million grant in 2009, of which the battery maker had received $133 million when it filed for bankruptcy.

The effects of the bankruptcy extended beyond the company. A123 was the battery provider for DOE-loan recipient Fisker Automotive, which ceased production last year. Fisker furloughed its U.S. workforce this week, the latest in a series of struggles for the company.